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USC Professor to Lead APA Division

By Steve Linan, USC News Service
January 2005

In his new role, Gerald Davison will serve as president of the clinical division of the American Psychological Association.

Gerald C. Davison, professor and chair of psychology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has been named president-elect of Division 12 of the American Psychological Association.

Division 12 is the APA’s clinical psychology division.

As of Jan. 1, Davison will serve as president-elect; on Jan. 1, 2006, he will be president; and on Jan. 1, 2007, he will serve as past president. Each office holds a vote on the division’s board of directors.

Davison said the clinical psychology division of the APA, known also as the Society of Clinical Psychology, is the largest organization of clinical psychologists in the country.

“Presidents of divisions often use their position as a sort of bully pulpit to promote initiatives that are near and dear to them,” Davison said. “In my case it's the science-practice dialectic, that is, the complex and dynamic interplay between scientific theory and data on the one hand, and clinical applications on the other.

“Good research informs application, and application helps define worthwhile research questions and provides an arena for evaluating the real-world value of laboratory and other controlled findings,” he said.

“Interestingly, this is the core theme of the new university strategic plan, which of course pleases me greatly.”

Division 12 is the second largest in the APA, with approximately 5,500 members made up primarily of psychologists.

The society’s aim is to further the representation of the science and profession of clinical psychology to the APA and to the public.